Chemical Wedding (film)
|Directed by||Julian Doyle|
|Produced by||David Pupkewitz
|Written by||Bruce Dickinson
|Distributed by||Anchor Bay Entertainment (U.S.)|
|Release date(s)||4 May 2008|
Chemical Wedding (released in the U.S. as Crowley) is a British supernatural horror/science fiction film produced by Bill&Ben Productions in conjunction with the London-based Focus Films. It is directed by Julian Doyle. The story is based on an original screenplay by Bruce Dickinson, frontman of heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Dickinson released a solo album entitled The Chemical Wedding in 1998, which, despite sharing the title and title track from the film's soundtrack, is otherwise unrelated.
Upon entering a VR machine, Professor Oliver Haddo, a modern Cambridge scholar, becomes possessed by the spirit of the infamous occultist Aleister Crowley, as the machine's program has been corrupted by a former follower of Crowley. Resurrected 50 years after his death, Crowley begins his occult practices anew, seeking a new "scarlet bride" whom he can marry in an occult ceremony which will increase his power.
- Simon Callow as Professor Oliver Haddo/Aleister Crowley
- Kal Weber as Dr. Joshua Mathers
- Lucy Cudden as Lia Robinson
- Jud Charlton as Victor Nuberg
- Paul McDowell as Symonds
- John Shrapnel as Aleister Crowley (original)
- Terence Bayler as Professor Brent
- Mike Shannon as Alex
- Bruce Dickinson as Crowley's landlord and as a blind man
The film was originally proposed in 2000 and was to have been produced by Terry Jones' "Messiah Films", but was later adopted by Focus Films. David Pupkewitz and Malcolm Kohll produced the film, with Ben Timlett and Justin Peyton of Bill and Ben Productions and Duellist Film Production in association with MotionFX and E-Motion. Executive producers are Andy Taylor, Paul Astrom-Andrews and Peter Dale.
Warner Music released the film's soundtrack in the UK, while Edward Noeltner's Cinema Management Group handled international sales. The film received its world première at the Sci-Fi-London film festival on 4 May 2008.
According to Rockerparis, Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson was in Paris, France, on 26 November to promote the film's DVD release. The screening and press conference were held in a private cinema in front of Europe 1 radio near the Champs Elysées. Dickinson, who has a small cameo role in the film, has stated that, "On several levels, I think it will be nice for them ([Iron Maiden fans]) to see somebody from Maiden doing something else that gets the band's name out there and also potentially gets a bit of respect for heavy metal and all the rest of it....But, in addition, I think they'll just enjoy it. It's a rollicking good story."
Chemical Wedding was almost universally panned by critics, with Channel 4 stating, "The look and feel of Chemical Wedding is evidently an homage to Hammer and early 1970s Brit horror-fantasy in general: that is to say, cheap. And though aiming to titillate, the execution is so naff it might as well be renamed 'Confessions Of A Cabbalist'.".
Horror.com, however, praised the film, calling it "a mixed bag of tricks to be sure, but it's worth a look for the curio factor. (At least it's not a remake, a J-horror knock-off, or torture porn.)"
- "Chemical Wedding" – Bruce Dickinson
- "Hush Hush Here Comes the Bogie Man" – Henry Hall / Val Rosing
- "Fanlight Fanny" – George Formby
- "Man of Sorrows" – Bruce Dickinson
- "The Wicker Man" – Iron Maiden
- "Can I Play with Madness" – Iron Maiden
- "Separation" – Skin
- "Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune" – Debussy
- "The Hallelujah Chorus" – Handel
- "(Excerpt) Violin Concerto" – Mozart
- Fangoria Online – Assorted Horror DVD News
- BBC News, Friday, 29 September, 2000, 12:45 GMT 13:45 UK
- Iron Maiden: Official Website
- Chemical Wedding – SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival 7 :: 30 April – 4 May 2008
- Iron Maiden Singer To Promote 'Chemical Wedding' DVD Release
- Beth Hilton, "Iron Maiden star makes Crowley movie", Digital Spy, 31 August 2007
- Chemical Wedding Review
- Horror.com – Crowley Review